Tasmania could again be a saviour for the AFL as it attempts to navigate more Covid-related speed bumps.
Reports on Tuesday indicated another fixture could be headed to the state with Fremantle's clash with Carlton potentially on its way to Launceston's UTAS Stadium.
That match was scheduled to be played at Perth's Optus Stadium on Saturday night, but both the Dockers and West Coast have exited the state after a four-day lockdown in the Perth and Peel areas was declared.
If the match was moved, it would see Fremantle play two games in the city in a row, with a contest scheduled against Hawthorn at UTAS Stadium in round 17.
The ball is in the AFL's court...Premier Peter Gutwein
It was reported on Tuesday that if the match was played in Launceston, it would start at 1.45pm on Saturday.
"I spoke to Gil McLachlan last night and again this morning, and reiterated that Tasmania remains open to the possibility of hosting more AFL games down in Tasmania, or an AFL hub if the situation demands,'' Premier Peter Gutwein said on Tuesday.
"The ball is in the AFL's court, acknowledging the uncertainty that still remains with lockdowns in other states and the impact on the AFL fixture.
"However, to be very clear - we will not do anything to put Tasmanians at risk and we will act on Public Health advice at all times."
Fremantle chief executive Simon Garlick said playing in Tasmania was "definitely an option given we will be playing there the following week".
The contest could also be played at GMHBA Stadium.
The news comes after matches between Hawthorn and Essendon [which attracted a crowd of 14,834] and North Melbourne and Brisbane [with a crowd of 5060] were moved to Launceston and Hobart in round 14.
Fremantle has a 1-11 record at UTAS Stadium and Carlton has a 0-2 record in the city.
Their last games at the venue were in 2019.